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Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous

It’s waxing toward a full supermoon this weekend.

Waxing gibbous moon (~74.3%) of January 26, 2018 by Andy Bentley.

The moon is now in a waxing gibbous phase, rising between noon and sunset, setting in the wee hours after midnight. You’ll always see a waxing gibbous moon between a first quarter moon and full moon, and, it so happens, the upcoming full moon is a Blue Moon, and a supermoon and will undergo a total eclipse – a super Blue Moon eclipse. For us in North America, the eclipse will happen during the morning hours of January 31, 2018.

Read more: Super Blue Moon eclipse on January 31

Greg Redfern captured the moon on January 27, 2018 from aboard a ship, the Azamara Journey. He wrote: “What’s wrong with this photo? Nothing if you’re at 31 degrees South latitude! The moon is way over in the northern sky and is upside down from our Northern Hemisphere perspective. I have another 10 degrees South to go. The total lunar eclipse should be incredible to see at 41 deg South from Kangaroo Island in the Indian Ocean!”

Any moon that appears more than half lighted but less than full is called a gibbous moon. The word gibbous comes from a root word that means hump-backed.

People often see a waxing gibbous moon in the afternoon, shortly after moonrise, while it’s ascending in the east as the sun is descending in the west. It’s easy to see a waxing gibbous moon in the daytime because, at this phase of the moon, a respectably large fraction of the moon’s dayside is now facing our way.

Want to know more? Check out our post offering 4 keys to understanding moon phases.

Point of interest on a waxing gibbous moon: Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows) surrounded by the Jura Mountains. Photo by Lunar 101-Moon Book in Toronto, Canada.

As the moon orbits Earth, it changes phase in an orderly way. Follow these links to understand the various phases of the moon.

Four keys to understanding moon phases

Where’s the moon? Waxing crescent
Where’s the moon? First quarter
Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous
What’s special about a full moon?
Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous
Where’s the moon? Last quarter
Where’s the moon? Waning crescent
Where’s the moon? New phase

Deborah Byrd

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